Travel insurance is the best way of making sure you’re in safe hands while abroad/on holiday. Travelling without insurance puts you at risk of paying thousands of pounds if anything happens whilst your away. If you have travel insurance while going abroad, you are guaranteed to be covered for things such as medical care, stolen baggage and a lot more depending on which provider you choose.
Most policies include cover for:
If you are buying travel insurance, make sure you are covered on at least both medical expenses and getting home as these are two essentials. Note that baggage and cancellation cover may be added as additional extras but are to both just as important to have.
What should your travel insurance policy include?
Travel insurance policies do vary, and each come with different cover, so it’s important to know what kind of policy would benefit you the most. Below I am going to list eight things that all travel policies should include, these are the things you want to make sure your policy contains as they will benefit you the most.
Your travel insurance policy should include all the above features; however, some policies include extras such as:
Don’t fall for the cheap prices
When it comes to travel insurance the cheapest is not always the best and sometimes spending that little more will end up benefiting you. There are many different policies and the right one for you may not always be the cheapest one available. If the policy is the right one for you it is worth paying a few extra pounds, as getting the cheapest one may stop you for claiming when you need to.
When you’re looking for your policy make sure to look at the benefits and features, a really good way to get the best deal is writing a list of all the features you want or need, looking on comparison sites and filtering what you want on your list.
Do you need travel insurance if you own a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
If you own an EHIC you get the same level of medical care as someone who lives in the country your visiting and the card is valid in all European economic area countries. What you need to remember Is that the country your visiting may not have the level of care that you may want, for example they may not have the same as what you get in the UK. Having an EHIC card may benefit you when buying travel insurance as there is a chance they won’t ask you to pay the excess on your medical claims. Even if you own an EHIC card it is still recommended to buy travel insurance as the EHIC card is not enough by itself.
Things to consider:
How we help
Don’t forget here at Smart Cover we can help you with the right travel insurance that will protect you and your family on holiday!
Contact us via our website or call us on 03333 449 559 if you would like to find out more, our customer service team will be happy to help with any questions or queries.
We spoke with a president at Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild, Mary Guppy!
Can you tell me about QMCG and what it is all about?
Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild is all about helping people in need. During the summer months all the charities on our current list are contacted by the Secretary asking them to send in a list of the type of clothing they would like to receive. We collect new items, such as clothing, gloves, scarves, towels and give them to people who need it. We only collect new items because many of the recipients have never owned anything new. For them to receive new items gives them warmth, comfort and dignity.
How long has it been running?
Queen Mothers Clothing Guild was founded in 1882 by Lady Wolverton, so it’s been 136 years.
Can you tell me about the work the organisation does?
So, Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild Donates new clothes to 69 different charities in England and Scotland, in order for us to keep doing this and for the organisation to carry on going we have to raise a very large amount of money per year. All clothing and linen donated during the year arrives at St. James’s Palace on the first morning of Packing Week. Everything is then unpacked and counted before being distributed to its stall. There are stalls dealing with Neonatal, Babies, Children 2-5 years, Children 6-16 years, Women, Men, Linen and also a collection called ‘Various’ which has shoes, knitted blankets, bed socks, bed jackets, hats, scarves and many other things.
How did you become involved with QMCG?
I was introduced to it by a friend of mine who was a president for QMCG, I started off as a helper, then I became vice president and 5 years ago I become a president.
As a president and Executive Committee, could you explain your roles?
Along with other people we go and visit anyone who may need help, we work out the financial arrangement and we have the responsibility of choosing the people who need help the most. Two presidents have to visit the charities.
When did you become an Executive Committee?
I became an executive committee at the beginning of 2017, I was elected by the other members of the executive committees.
What’s it like being a president and Executive Committee?
We are very busy, we try to help as many people as we can, but the role is very satisfying and rewarding, I enjoy it very much.
Does QMCG have any goals for this year?
Our goal is just to carry on what were doing and raise as much money as possible and help as many people possible.
We are grateful to anyone who would like to donate. By helping us you really are helping so many others, a gift no matter how small, for example a pair of gloves or socks can make somebody’s day! If you want to contribute items, then you can contact the QMCG secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org who will put you in touch with your nearest group.
Winter is here, and we all know the difficulties that come with driving during winter months; frozen windows, snow on the windscreen, freezing steering wheel and foggy weather. It’s not just frustrating and time-consuming to fix, it can also be dangerous when traveling in these conditions. We have put together 8 steps you can follow to prepare your car for winter.
1: Get your car serviced
If your car is due a service within the next 3 months, consider doing it before winter really sets in. The winter weather can cause problems for cars but servicing your car before the winter can prevent many problems that may occur otherwise. Some garages will offer a discounted, sometimes even free winter service, so take advantage of this.
2: Top up the engine coolant with antifreeze
Engine coolant is supposed to be a 50% mix of water and antifreeze. It is common that people tend to top up the water over the course of the year, meaning in cold temperatures the antifreeze gets over diluted and freezes. If you don’t top up the antifreeze, you could end up with a large repair bill due to the engine overheating.
3: Clean your lights
Its important in the winter that lights, indicators and rear reflectors are clean and in working order. For example, in foggy weather, if your fog/ full beam lights are not working it can be dangerous as other drivers may not see you. Clean all lights and if needed, get them fixed so they are in full working order.
4: Check the battery
Checking the battery should be one of the first things you do. The winter weather and cold temperatures mean you increase the use of lights and the heater, which puts extra strain on the battery. Your battery should last around five years but if you’re having trouble getting your car to start it’s best to get your battery checked.
5: Check the condition of your tyres
The car tyres are especially important in the winter as steering and braking in snow and icy conditions can be of difficulty and dangerous if not done carefully. Check the tyres for pressure and tread depth. Compared to the legal limit of 1.6 mm in normal weather conditions, it is recommended there should be a minimum of 3mm depth during the winter to ensure a better grip.
6: Wash your windscreen/wipers/windows
Clean your windscreen and windows from both inside and out. Make sure to top up your screen washer fluid as well. Its important your windscreen and windows are clear so that you have the best vision possible. In the winter it is easier for your windscreen/windows to get dirty, so keeping the screen washer fluid topped up is important to ensure they are clean at all times.
7: Carry a winter breakdown kit in the boot
Carrying a winter breakdown kit will ensure you are not stuck in the freezing cold with anything to keep you warm and safe if you should breakdown. The kit should include a shovel, blanket, luminous vest, screen wash, food and drink, de-icer, spare coat, a charger for your mobile phone and a torch. These kits are available on many websites and can be bought at a good price at places such as www.amazon.co.uk.
8: Use a foil windscreen cover
To avoid your screen freezing up or potentially getting covered in snow, purchase a windscreen cover so that you can keep your screen clean and protected during winter. Windscreen covers can be used all year round, including summer, to protect your car from getting too hot.
We hope this article has helped and you now feel confident in preparing your car for winter.
The dishwasher plays an important role to keeping your kitchen looking clean. You’ve cooked and eaten your dinner; all the dirty plates and cutlery are in the dishwasher and your kitchen is looking spotless. You can’t help but notice everything looks clean but there’s an awful smell coming from your dishwasher. You assume that your dishwasher is clean if it’s cleaning your plates and cutlery? Well, no, not really – your dishwasher can get dirty and start to smell for a number of different reasons. Read below about 4 ways to get rid of that nasty smell coming from your dishwasher.
1: Wash the inside/interior walls of the dishwasher and racks
The first thing you can do is give your appliance a good clean. You may be getting a bad smell simply because of the grime that has collected throughout the inside of the dishwasher. Remove the racks, as they will just get in your way. Use a rag with some hot soapy water to scrub the interior walls, this can be a hard job if the grime has been there for a long time. A textured rag may help with scrubbing.
Once you have done the inside of the dishwasher it’s a good idea to quickly soak the racks in hot water while you can. Its unlikely the racks have anything to do with the smell, however cleaning them takes minutes.
2: Clean the drain filter
If your dishwasher is giving off a bad odour, the drain filter could potentially be the reason. The drain filter can collect food particles, meaning over time it can become very dirty. You should have a detachable filter where all of the water drains, you will need to remove this filter by removing the bottom rack and twisting it out. Wash the filter with soap and hot water then place back in to the dishwasher.
3: Place a cup of distilled white vinegar in the top rack of the dishwasher
This is one of the most popular ways of getting rid of any bad smells coming from your appliance. Of course, make sure there is nothing in the dishwasher whilst cleaning using this method. Even though vinegar itself has an interesting smell, the acid in vinegar is good for removing bad odours. Place a cup of distilled white vinegar on the top of rack of the dishwasher and run a cleaning cycle.
Once you have done this, it is a good idea to then go with the baking soda method. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda over the bottom of the dishwasher. Baking soda is another product well known for removing bad odours. Run another short cycle, make sure the water is at the hottest setting to ensure all the baking soda dissolves.
After you have done these two steps, your dishwasher should be smelling fresh and clean.
4: Clean the spray arm
The spray arm can also get clogged up with food, just like the drain filter. If the spray arm gets clogged, it loses the ability to clean the items properly. The debris also leads to the bad smell coming from your dishwasher. Remove both the upper and lower spray arms and remove any food particles over the sink. Run water through both spray arms to ensure all holes are clear.
We hope by reading this article you have learned something new and are now educated on how to remove any bad smells coming from your dishwasher. Don’t forget that here at Smart-Cover we offer dishwasher insurance from just £6.29 p/m. Get a quote today.
Excess protection saves you from paying a high excess. If you make a claim on an existing insurance policy, you are entitled to pay an excess. When you take out a policy you will usually be given two options to choose from, compulsory excess or voluntary excess.
Compulsory excess – When getting a quote from the insurer you will see that some will set a compulsory excess amount, this is an excess amount that you will have to pay if you make a claim, you cannot change this amount as it is set in place and not negotiable. The amount will depend on certain factors for example for a car, the type of car and its age would be considered.
Voluntary excess – This is an amount of excess that you can control and set yourself, some people add extra voluntary excess on top of the compulsory excess as this can reduce your premium, but make sure you pick an amount that you can afford if you do have to make a claim.
How does excess protection work?
Paying excess for an insurance claim can be expensive, excess protection is an insurance policy that recovers the excess costs.
Let’s say you buy car insurance that has an excess of £500, and you damage your car, the damage costs are £2500. You will have to pay £500 towards the claim, and your insurer will pay the rest in order to fix your car. With excess protection you can claim the excess amount of money back.
So, for the £500 excess example, if you paid £90 annually for excess protection, you would save £410 from the claim. This obviously will save you paying a large amount of money.
If you claim on an insurance policy, you will pay the excess amount that you agreed to when buying your policy, and then the excess insurance will return the money back to you.
How much does Excess Protection cost?
The cost of excess insurance will all depend on the insurer and also the amount of excess that you want to be covered. For example, if you are protecting a small excess of £100 you could pay as little as £1.50 a month! However, if you’re protecting an excess of £600 you may pay up to £8 a month.
You may be wondering are you really saving money from buying excess protection? The answer is a very big YES! Think about it, from as little as £2 a month you could save hundreds of pounds if you have to claim.
Types of Excess protection:
Single policy – The covers excess on one insurance policy, for example your car.
Lifestyle – This covers the excess on multiple insurance policies, for example your car, gadgets and health.
Excess insurance for car hire:
Excess insurance is great for things like car hire, the reason being that car hire companies can make you pay a high excess, due to the risk of damage to the car. If you damage the car during the hire, you may have to pay thousands of pounds excess, which is a substantial amount. Excess insurance will stop you from paying this large cost.
Here at Smart-Cover we offer Excess protection from just £1.80 a month. For an excess of £500 you can be protected for just £50 annually saving you £450 if you claim. Get a quote today.
1: Scan QR Codes Without an App
There’s no need to use an app to read specialised QR codes anymore as you can simply use your iPhone’s camera. All you have to do is point your camera at the QR code and it will scan automatically. You will then receive a pop-up notification with the product page link or website. You can also do this if you have an Android, just open Google and enable the screen search, using the same process as with iPhone.
2: Create Custom Vibrations
If you’re someone that often has their phone on silent, you’re going to find this one useful. You can custom vibrations on your smartphone, making it easier to identify if it’s your parents ringing you, or just a scam call. To do this go to Setting > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone/Text tone > Vibration > Custom > Create new vibration. Once you are here you can customise the vibration pattern.
Don’t want to scroll through 2,000 photos to find one picture you took months ago? Don’t worry, finding a specific image is easier than you may think. You can use the search function at the top of your photo app and search by category. For example, type in the word “dog” and photos of you and your dog should pop up.
4: Play Your Favourite Show on Your TV
Bored of watching movies on your smartphone’s small screen? Would rather watch it on your TV? Well, now you can. If you have an iPhone, you are able to mirror whatever you’re playing on your smartphone, on to your TV. Swipe up on the home screen and you will see where it says, “screen mirroring”, make sure to stand fairly close to your Smart TV and enter your airplay passcode. You can still do this if you own an Android phone, if you have a Chromecast or Chromecast enabled device. If you don’t own a Smart TV, you can still use this feature just by using third party apps such as ‘Reflector’ or ‘Air Server’ on to your computer and using the mirroring feature as described.
5: Update Siri’s Pronunciation
If you’ve ever noticed Siri has been pronouncing a specific word or name wrong that you use often, there’s an easy way you can fix this. Once you’ve activated Siri, you can say “you’re pronouncing (word) wrong,” and you will be asked the correct pronunciation. Then you will be given a list of options for correcting Siri and you can choose the correct one.
6: Shake to Undo Mistakes
Want to quickly undo a message without pressing back continuously for a long time, simply shake your iPhone and an option will appear to undo what you have written. You can still do this if you own an Android smartphone, just download a shake to undo module to enjoy the same effect.
7: Measure height and distance
No need to own a measuring tape anymore, both Android and iPhone can measure everything for you all through your camera. Download the app Smart Measure Pro (Android) and Dot Measure (Apple). Both of these apps use your smartphone’s camera to measure the distance, height, width, and area of a target.
8: Monitor Your Heart Rate
If you are conscious of your health or interested in monitoring your heart rate, then this app will be great for you. Both iPhones and Android have an app you can download to monitor your heart rate. Android&iPhone – Instant Heart Rate app. The app uses your camera to track your heart rate, and its free!
Nobody ever thought it would be this easy to translate foreign languages within seconds. You don’t even have to type in words anymore, with the Google Translate app all you have to do is point your smartphone camera at anything with printed words on for example a road sign. The app will display an English translation in the picture, within seconds.
It works with languages such as Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, German and Spanish. For Android and Windows users, you’re in luck, as you can enjoy the app without having to be connected to the internet.
With the majority of young children now owning a smartphone, they and the rest of the public often feel a little on edge when walking to places alone at night. There is now a way to keep safe by letting contacts e.g. your parents, track your location. The app bSafe, available for both Android and iPhone allows you to set a timer, so that if you don’t arrive somewhere in the time allocated, your selected contacts will be notified. The app can even schedule fake calls to make it seem as if you are talking with someone while walking home.
How we help
Don’t forget here at Smart-Cover we offer smartphone insurance, protecting you from theft, loss, damage and more.
Contact us via our website or call us on 03333 449 559 if you would like to find out more, our customer service team will be happy to help with any queries you may have.
Boiler cover is an insurance policy that pays the costs of repairing your boiler if it breaks down.
If you rent your home, you shouldn’t need boiler insurance as this should be covered by your landlord. You may have boiler cover included as part of your home insurance policy, which also means you wouldn’t need boiler cover.
However, if you do own your home, making sure your boiler is taken care of and protected against breakdown should be a priority, especially now the summer months have finished. If your boiler does break down, there’s a high risk of you potentially being left without heating and hot water for days. It might seem easy to not think of insuring your boiler and of dealing with any problems if they happen, but boiler break downs can be sudden and can leave you with a huge repair bill.
Having your boiler covered means an engineer will come to your home if your boiler breaks down. You will be covered for the call out, the parts and the labour, leaving you with peace of mind and no expensive bills to pay.
While in the summer England can get pretty hot, temperatures can drop very quickly in the winter, as such heating and blankets become essentials. You may think it’s a waste of money to insure your boiler as you may think nothing will ever go wrong. Those people that have previously experienced a boiler break down will know just how important it is to have the boiler working. Having no hot water or heating in the winter months is very unpleasant to say the least. If you’re unsure whether you really need to pay for a monthly insurance policy, then below are some key points to consider when making your decision.
Having no hot water is a disaster
Every house needs warmth to feel like home, especially in the winter. Washing the dishes or having to shower in cold water is something nobody should have to do. How long would you be able to go without a hot shower?
With boiler insurance its unlikely you will ever have to wash in a cold shower as someone will be on their way to help as soon as possible.
It can be expensive to replace a boiler
If you don’t have your boiler covered and your boiler suddenly breaks down, you are at risk of a huge bill to repair it. It’s hard to say just how much it would cost as its different for everyone, however when adding up the cost of labour and parts it can soon get costly.
A boiler breakdown can happen overnight, and with it needing to be fixed as soon as possible, it can be hard to find the money in a short period of time.
Getting covered with insurance saves time
If your boiler breaks down it can mean you have to find an available engineer to look at the problem, and then make sure you have someone trustworthy enough not to rip you off and do the job properly. To do all of this and find the right amount of money can all get stressful, especially if you already have other things to think about.
With insurance you are one phone call away from a bunch of people that will take on the problem and send an engineer out to help you, giving you peace of mind. Once you have phoned your insurance company you can relax knowing it is being handled by a dedicated team. No stress, no comparing quotes and no costly bills.
Boiler insurance doesn’t have to be expensive
Boiler insurance can be more affordable than you think. The price of cover for you will be based on things such as the model and age of your boiler. Its worth getting a quote to see just how much you would pay, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Smart-Cover offer boiler cover from £5.99p/m and offer basic, essential and premium packages so that you can get cover tailored for your needs. Get a quote today.
The highway code instructs you to take the next exit or pull into a service area if your car is developing a problem while driving on the motorway. Sometimes this isn’t possible, if so you would need to pull onto the hard shoulder and stop in a safe place. Its important to be as far to the left as you can so you are as far from passing drivers as possible. If you don’t carry a phone around with you in the car, try to stop near an emergency telephone (at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder).
These are the five steps to take if you do breakdown on the motorway:
Items to keep in your car in case of a breakdown:
Exit and enter the vehicle on the left
When you have pulled over onto the hard shoulder and you want to exit the vehicle its very important you exit from the left (passenger side) so that you’re as far away as possible from passing traffic.
Make sure the hazard lights are on
Put the hazard lights on to instruct other drivers you have broken down. If its dark it is recommended you also put your side lights on, and if its foggy, to be extra safe, put the fog lights on. You should aim to make the vehicle as visible as you can so that other drivers can see you in all types of weather – If its foggy and you can’t see for more than 100 metres this indicates visibility is poor which also means other drivers cannot see you clearly until close.
Leave children and pets in the vehicle
Motorways can be dangerous, and children and pets don’t always know the correct way to be safe. If you have broken down it is better to keep both pets and young children inside the vehicle, so they are kept safe. If there is an emergency, then take them out of the vehicle but make sure they are being looked after and under correct control.
Call for help (breakdown)
Once you have pulled over on to the hard shoulder then call for breakdown help. If you have breakdown cover with Smart Cover then call 03333 449 247. Stay calm and wait for help.
Mobile phone not in use? Use the emergency phone
If your mobile phone has run out of battery or even if you don’t have a mobile phone, then use the emergency telephone. These are located every mile along the hard shoulder, they are in a bright orange box, so you won’t miss it, and just so you know, the telephone is free of charge.
Re-joining the Carriageway
If your vehicle is ready to set off and the problem is fixed, then you can re join the carriageway carefully. Don’t rush off, make sure its safe to go, be patient and wait for a big enough gap in the traffic. Depending where you are on the hard shoulder you can use the hard shoulder to gain speed before re-joining.
Don’t forget here at Smart Cover we offer motor breakdown insurance, if you break down we make sure help is on the way and you’re back on the road as soon as possible. Get a quote today.
Everyone who owns a smartphone wants to know how they can get more out of their battery life.
Over the years there has been many myths about battery life on smartphones, how certain things kill your battery over time and ways that apparently save the battery.
Even though most of the myths are false, there are definitely ways you can improve your battery life. Here I’m going to tell you whether these five myths are true or false and the real ways you can save battery life.
Myth #1: Charging your phone overnight can ruin the battery
For a long time, smartphone users have had the idea that plugging your phone in all night long while you are asleep can affect the battery. I guess that made sense as it was thought you may be overcharging your device; but now it is proven to be 100% FALSE.
It doesn’t really matter how long you charge your phone, but it does matter how many times you’ve charged it over its lifetime. The iPhone specifically has an advanced power management that means it won’t take in more current than is needed for it to be fully charged, meaning if you leave it plugged in after it’s hit 100%, it won’t make a difference or affect the battery.
The best way to make your battery last longer is to charge it to 80% and then again when it gets down to 20%. By not letting the battery get to 0% you’re not stressing the system. This is the best way if you want your smartphone to last a long time, if you upgrade your phone whenever a new model is released, you can charge your smartphone whenever and however you like.
Myth #2: Closing apps after using them can save battery life (iPhone)
This one is definitely still believed by many people, we all know someone who double taps the home button and swipes up on all the apps they’ve used until it is clear.
This myth is in fact FALSE – closing the apps will not save battery life. This can actually do the opposite and use extra power, this is because re-opening apps that you have shut down uses more power than opening an app that you were on 30 mins ago and still running.
So instead of wasting time shutting apps down so often, only force an app to close if the app is unresponsive, this way you’re actually saving battery life.
Myth #3: Turning off Wi-Fi setting will save battery life
This one does make sense at first. If you’re not searching for an internet connection for example, your smartphone isn’t using as much power. Actually, this myth is also FALSE.
When Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on, but not in use, no power is being used, therefore there’s no need to turn them off, because doing so will not save battery life.
Saying this, what can help save battery life is using airplane mode when you’re in an area with a bad cellular connection.
Myth #4: The automatic brightness adjustment feature affects the battery life
This myth is FALSE. In fact, it couldn’t be further from the truth. According to Apple, their iPhone auto-brightness setting actually saves battery life.
To turn the auto-brightness setting on for your iPhone go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Auto-Brightness.
For Samsung users: Settings > Display > Auto brightness
Myth #5: All smartphone chargers are the same
We all know someone who has bought the cheapest charger they can find and after a while their phone has broken. Well this is one of the reasons this myth is definitely FALSE.
That’s not to say you have to buy an Apple/Samsung/own brand charger, even though this is probably the safest option. Companies like Apple and Samsung make chargers that work specifically for a certain phone, so are completely trustworthy. Third party chargers are fine, but that £1 charger you found on eBay may not be.
Some chargers are cheap and not trustworthy; they either provide too little, or too much power for your smartphone to handle. If the charger’s power is too powerful this can be very dangerous.
Many cheap chargers end up breaking after a few months of use anyway, so you’re better off investing a bit more money on a good, approved charger. Chances are it will last longer, and you will have peace of mind that your smartphone isn’t going to break from using the wrong charger.
So, there it is, all the five myths are false – which is good news right? Now you can stop worrying about all of these things affecting your smartphone.
Don’t forget here at Smart-Cover we offer cover for your smartphone in our gadget insurance. Cover with us means if anything happens to your smartphone, we are here to help fix the problem. Get a quote today.